Clocks & Clouds is a Minneapolis-based instrumental trio formed in 2010. Consisting of Stephanie Shogren (violin), Lucas Shogren (cello), and Derek Powers (drums), the trio has found delight in combining classical instrumentation with rock aesthetics. Applying their penchant for grand sounds, Clocks & Clouds has commanded audiences around the country.
With music fitting for both film scores and rock albums, Clocks & Clouds has recorded two e.p.’s: Life Beyond Reason (2011) and The Creation of Matter (2012). Capturing the essence of their influences from Mozart to Muse, Clocks & Clouds creates a listening experience that is immediate and impacting.
Along with their active recording and performance schedule, Clocks & Clouds devotes time to inspire students and teachers alike. Believing that music education is an important factor in a child’s development, they strive to help kids rock out whether they are playing a Beatles cover or a Beethoven symphony.
Currently, Clocks & Clouds is entering the studio to record a new album scheduled for 2015.
Dimond Saints lend their Future Bass spin to The Morning Birds signature sound in this low-end, sexy take on “Bloom”. Dimond Saints’ remixes have topped Hypem’s charts continuously and have been feature on Billboard CODE, VIBE and Earmilk and now KJXM radio.
A Toast to the Glass Half Full Crowd
After two years of a undying urge, a sense of something to say, whispers that had to be answered, and living in an Idyllwild round house with no corners of stagnation, only round swirls which turned out to be a vortex of creative force that resulted in the opportunity to convert something into something that wasn’t, but is, a world of truths emerges, all wrapped up in celestial energy.
With hearts full of love, The Morning Birds have produced a song of illumination for you.
This is Bloom
Undulating forth, Bloom is a hybrid of global lounge pop and jazzy doo-wop. Here is the result of contemplatively creative Samuel Markus striking the beats and bass line in tune with Jennifer Thorington’s cosmically velvet vocals.
Bloom is something you might listen to on a lazy Sunday morning…or with likeminded friends on a late Saturday night. Or, just listen, love and allow.
Find Your Season
Fresh, funky and eclectic, Bloom is remixed by 5 DJs from around the world. It’s a melting pot of global grooves representing the seasons, gently urging you to decide, which season strikes your fancy?
Dig Your Life
The Morning Birds create, generate, and disseminate independently and artistically intact, as they can be, on their own terms. Looking forward in a world where you may feel the need to… pour yourself a glass half full, play the music, and call it good. Salute!
Source: The Morning Birds
Chris and Gileah’s self-titled debut evokes laying in the grass on a summer’s night, staring at the moon and the stars, and contemplating the twists and turns your life has taken. With poetic introspection, raw emotional candor, breathtaking harmonies, sweeping grandeur, and pastoral folksiness, Chris and Gileah (The Love Library) tackles weighty topics such as the promise of youth yielding to the demands of adulthood, marriage, depression, and sweet love.
It’s both haunting and comforting—it’s an album of bold contrasts born from one profound incongruity: It was never meant to happen but it was also inevitable.
The backstory is that Chris and Gileah have been married for a decade, and both are esteemed solo artists with impressive careers. Chris was discovered through the Myspace craze of harvesting young talent, and found himself catapulted into the world of big record deals, nonstop national tours, and co-write sessions with Nashville’s finest hit makers. Gileah is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter who has been featured in such magazines as Paste and Relevant.
After they married, Chris made a big decision. “I quit music, my priorities shifted,” he says today. “I had a great label and so many opportunities, but I felt a commitment to be married and be there for my daughter. I didn’t want to be that guy that came back in time for his daughter’s birth, and then just went back out on the road.”
Throughout the rollercoaster ride of Chris’s career, Gileah, a prodigious songwriter, remained an active and prolific artist. “It was a strange time,” she confides. “I was doing what I had always done as an artist, but here I was with a baby watching Chris’s career. It was complicated. I was so proud of him but, still, there was a struggle within me.”
The next chapter saw Chris working in the family business and Gileah doing what she always did, writing songs. Then, one fateful day, there was a twist in the plot.
Gileah was writing on the piano in the living room when Chris passed by. “I said to him, ‘sing this verse for me,’” Gileah says playfully. “He did and it was like ‘oooohhhh’, it was like an angel singing!”
That song became the dreamy, “Love On This Island,” one of many standouts on Chris and Gileah. “Gileah wrote all these songs,” Chris reveals. “But I feel like they are my songs. ‘Love On This Island’ was about her watching me grapple with depression.” Gileah adds: “They are your songs, you were the muse.”
The album is jeweled with reflective gems on day-to-day living, and each one is prismatic and earnest, capturing the emotional complexity of couplehood. “We’re not above bad seasons, but we love each other and that keeps us going,” Gileah says.
“Map In My Heart” recalls the duo’s relationship journey with the sweet longing of the harmony vocals perfectly evoking young love nostalgia. And “Stay Love” is a majestic “us against the world” slow burn anthem.
An essential part of the Chris and Gileah family is producer/writer/multi-instrumentalist Allen Salmon who produced Chris and Gileah and contributed his multi-instrumentalist talents to the project. Chris and Allen first worked together during co-writing sessions back when Chris had his record deal, later on Allen worked with Gileah on her solo projects.
Thinking back, Gileah says with a good-natured laugh: “I guess I feel like I caught that big fish by luring Chris back. I didn’t think he would sing again, and I missed that spark.” Chris pauses pensively: “When I hear the album, I just feel like it adds so much depth to our life, to our family, it’s real. It’s made my life better.”
A few years ago, singer-songwriter Lara James asked herself a simple but bold question: Why wouldn’t I? She was on the couch watching a reality show on singers and reflecting on her unlived life as a musician. She was asking herself why she didn’t pursue being an artist.
In private moments during her high school years, Lara wrote songs that lived inside her heart and mind as blissful catharsis from the complexities of adolescence. They sounded good to her, but she never shared these secret and sacred little gems. Years went by and life blessed her with a healthy, happy, and wonderful family. She was overjoyed, but there was always songs singing softly within her. And then one day she couldn’t ignore them any longer.
“I had this moment where I believed if I sang, doors would open. I just felt this fate,” the Spokane, Washington-based singer-songwriter confides.
Appropriately, she calls her smoldering debut EP Why Wouldn’t I? (EUS Records/A division of Emphatic Artists Association). “The title is about the process of making the EP, the idea of ‘Why wouldn’t I got out and do this?,’” she affirms.
Lara’s musicality is focused and pristine, a mix of sensual classic sounds and modern, adult contemporary polish. It’s an aesthetic that calls to mind such artists as Shania Twain, Sara Bareilles, Norah Jones, Miranda Lambert, and Sarah Vaughan. But though it’s an evocative aesthetic, her artistry exudes a naturalness, a grace. “I love those artists,” she says of those she is frequently compared to. “But I just rely on who I am as person to create my music.”
Fate did intervene when Lara went online looking for a voice coach and found an LA-based producer/indie label owner that happened to be in the Spokane area spending time with his family. That was Jake Schaefer, and, in addition to vocal coaching, he became Lara’s creative collaborator, cheerleader, friend, and producer.
Lara entered her music journey bravely. Her second studio session was at famed Capitol Studios singing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” duet style with John Bobek. “I remember there were huge portraits of Sinatra and the Beach Boys, and I got a chance to see the mic Sinatra loved using,” she recalls.
Embracing a new era of fevered creativity, she wrote four new songs for the EP (the fifth song is a cover of Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls”).“I would sing things as I did dishes and laundry, and took the kids to school. I would get a melody in my head and work it out over and over while my kids got tired of hearing it,” she says laughing.
Why Wouldn’t I? introduces a broad array of sensibilities that reflect Lara’s multi-dimensional talents. The breathtaking “Tick Tock” seemingly roils with steamy innuendo like a sultry Patsy Cline track, but is in fact born from far a more innocent sentiment. “That’s about my kids waking me up at 5:30 morning and me wanting to go back to bed, but I hear the clock and know I have to get up!” she says. The haunting ballad “Love Worth Fighting For” valiantly and poetically describes the complexities of marriage. Here she sings: Sometimes it’s hard to rise above the noise, to see past this cloud of pain in my heart/Just when I feel like giving up and letting go, there you are with your arms wide open. And “Why Wouldn’t I” is euphoric pop track that outlines the manifesto that made this all happen.
Thinking back on her timeline as a creative person, Lara says: “I used to be shy and private, but now everything in me wants to run and take this places. I feel like I keep jumping off cliffs, and there is always a lifeline below.”
Singer-songwriter and ethnomusicologist Juliane Jones finds harmony in what seems like self-identity dissonance. “I occupy a middle space – my world is about intersections,” the New York-based songstress explains. Juliane’s father is Welsh, and her mother is from LA. She has lived internationally in five different places and speaks fluent Chinese and French. She is an ethnomusicologist by profession and an actively gigging musician. Evocatively, Juliane titles her kaleidoscopic, singer-songwriter, English-Chinese hybrid album The Space Between The Telephone Lines.
Juliane’s expansive artistry melds genres and inward/outward travelogues. It’s an exquisitely curated showing of diverse identities, spanning the genres of indie, alternative, folk, pop, electronic music, and rock, as it incorporates her experiences from studying music in China and France. Her writing evokes the astute and playful lyrics of Serge Gainsbourg, and the vivid narratives in the French Chanson genre with elements of Canto-pop music, inspired particularly by the Chinese artist Faye Wong.
Juliane has been building her artist profile through gigging in NYC’s vibrant singer-songwriter scene and expanding her outreach through gigs nationally and internationally, most notably with intimate gigs in Shanghai. In addition, she’s received exposure through having tracks played on Fairchild Radio and TV broadcast in Canada.
A foundational moment in her life’s work timeline occurred while in graduate school in the East Asian Studies Department at the University of Chicago. She was studying the great Italian composer Giacomo Puccini and became inspired by the fact that he integrated Eastern music within one of his operas. It was a revelatory moment: Previously she was a prodigiously talented singer-songwriter with a separate intuitive gift for linguistics and understanding different cultures. This light bulb moment helped her discover the harmony in the space between these worlds.
“Ethnomusicology and songwriting are similar in a lot of ways. Ethnography is really about description, observation, and interpretation. Songwriting is similar, but in writing songs the author can blend fact with fiction—it’s more flexible,” she says.
The Space Between The Telephone Lines uses pop conventions to explore intriguing, contrasting dialogues in music styles, cultures, and love. “The progress and innovations in pop have made it the perfect medium to explore different cultures and genres to create a fresh artistic vocabulary,” Juliane reveals. The album standout, “When You Sleep,” blends elegantly essential classical motifs with sweet folk pop. The accompanying video presents a charmingly quaint snapshot of new love. “That’s about when you get to that point in a relationship when you are so crazy-mad-in-love that you start second-guessing what you have,” Juliane says. The sublime, pastoral pop of “Rhythm & Blues” dissects long distance relationships in a playfully conceptual video and lyric scheme, referencing the Chinese myth of the red string of fate that connects destined lovers.
Throughout the album Juliane innovatively explores an East-West cultural exchange. She sings portions of songs in Chinese, boldly challenging herself to keep thematic and melodic continuity within Western pop conventions. Further enriching the East-West artistic dialogue, Juliane covers “旋木 (Wooden Horse)” by beloved Canto-pop artist Faye Wong who previously ignited her own cultural exchange with a gorgeous version of the Cranberries “Dreams.”
The album was tracked in Nashville and produced by Juliane and Doug Beiden.
Reflecting on the profound journey to arrive at The Space Between The Telephone Lines, Juliane says: “For me, answering big questions about music, culture, and life has always been a part of my songwriting. I’m always looking for new ways of understanding music, and I’ve always been interested in how writing music can be linked to individual biography and social history. I’m forever fascinated with that moment of creation, it always seems magical.”
May 9, 2014 – 10pm
Feat. members of Ba Ban Chinese Music Society
Electro Noir Pop – a description that fits no:carrier best. “We can’t be compared easily. We have our very own sound that includes elements from several styles – from Dark Wave to Synthpop, from Acoustic to Electro,” says Chris Wirsig, main songwriter and producer of no:carrier. “We found our own way, we are not going on the trodden paths. We stay true to our ideals and write exactly the songs we want to write.”
no:carrier, originally founded in 1995 in Germany, but active in its current line-up since 2001, is now a long-distance musical affair, with Chris Wirsig living in San Francisco while singer Cynthia Wechselberger still resides in their home country Germany. But as with all long-distance relationships this can add some spice to the mixture.
After two critically acclaimed albums, “My Own Dream” in 2002 and “Between The Chairs” in 2011, the duo is back in 2013 with even more variety. Still firmly rooted in Dark Wave and Synth Pop, no:carrier’s sound and topics are broader than ever, incorporating Arabic instruments, drums and percussion from different cultures, with topics ranging from melancholic introspection to defiant declarations to tragic real-life biographies.
First harbinger of the new songs was the 5 track single “Last Scene”, released in June 2013. The song reflects a dubious past, a “last scene of a play we shouldn’t have staged”, and was praised in magazines like Side-Line, Nachtaktiv, Amobss-Mag and ReGen. The follow up single, “The Nine Days’ Queen”, released in December 2013, deals with the tragic life of Lady Jane Grey who ruled England for nine days and later was beheaded. A third precursor to the new album “Wisdom & Failure”, the “Confession EP” is released late February 2014 with the album following late April/early May.
A new track from a former KJXM Radio’s artist’s of the month has been released. Gone Away (Writing Cave Session) is now available to download on Bandcamp.
Pop-rock band War Poets are uncompromising social justice advocates with a refreshingly inviting approach to expressing their ideals. They infiltrate the pop-rock genre using smart hooks and compelling narratives to gracefully invite listeners to consider their social and political perspectives. “The songs we write have messages, but we like to pass these on in stories so they’re more relatable,” says Rex Haberman, the band’s primary creative force.
The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based group has garnered favorable comparisons to Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Fleetwood Mac, and the Replacements. Like the aforementioned artists, War Poets draw on Americana, pop, and rock to achieve an aesthetic that’s refined but rootsy.
In just 14 months, War Poets have managed to build a highly impressive artist profile. The video for band’s lead off single, “Close Enough,” from War Poets’ debut full length, Dulce et Decorum Est, has wracked up an astounding 250,000 views. It was a heartwarming statement on marriage equality dedicated to the memory of the historical NYC Stonewall uprisings, and the track became an anthem for many same-sex marriage supporters. The group’s follow-up video (for the single, “Will You Be There”) netted over 45,000 views. War Poets’ music is played nationally on both AAA and college radio formats. The group has the added distinction of being the #1 most played album on KSJS radio in San Jose, CA. War Poets have earned nine TV and film licenses. Last spring, War Poets played Red Gorilla Music Festival during SXSW. The group has worked with such iconic producers as Grammy winner Kevin Bowe (Etta James, Jonny Lang) and five-time Grammy winner Joe Baldridge (Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson). It’s been one heck of a year for War Poets.
The group has a unique band structure built around a core duo of Haberman as the primary singer-songwriter and guitarist, and bassist-vocalist, and contributing songwriter, Jenny Case as the musical director. The two keep an ongoing artistic dialogue with creative advisor Matt Kirkwold who also contributes songs to War Poets. Previous to War Poets, Haberman had recorded and released three albums, and Case has led her own band, and played in many cover bands. Currently, she is the executive director of She Rock She Rock Foundation.
When forming War Poets, Haberman made a socially conscious decision to build the band around a female singer-bassist. “I have a strong opinion about the status of women in music because I find it a really male-dominated world,” he reveals. When he expressed the idea of forging a female/male artistic alliance to creative advisor Matt Kirkwold (Haberman and Kirkwold have been friends and collaborators for 15 years) Kirkwold suggested Case. “We work together like we’re on a mission,” Haberman explains. “Jenny has high standards. She’s a perfectionist in the studio and really pushes the band’s performances. She’s super talented and highly professional.” The two also have complimentary voices with Chase’s angelic and schooled vocals providing a sweet counterpoint to Haberman’s plaintive and impassioned vocal stylings. Rounding out the ranks as a full-band collective is a fluid mix of some of the Midwest’s finest musicians and songwriters.
The group’s new album is boldly titled American Police State, evoking the red button topics shared within its irresistible pop-rock songs. The band is currently putting the finishing touches on the album and Haberman’s sneak-peak revelations are that the new album will discuss income inequality, Native American rights, and gun violence. “What is a gun really for? It’s for killing people,” Haberman affirms. “I realize I have strong opinions on gun violence, but we’re musicians, not politicians. We put our views out there by singing so people can think about this.” War Poets are currently readying one of their signature poignant and purposeful videos for “8:05 On A Saturday Night” which addresses gun violence directly without glorifying an atrocity.
In a very short amount of time, War Poets have made an impact as musicians and as messengers. They have been embraced by masses and respected by some of the music industry’s leading lights. “The most fulfilling moment of it all might be when we played ‘Close Enough’ during our CD release party. There were all these people I’ve never seen before so into that song,” Haberman says, pausing thoughtfully. “As a heterosexual male, making that connection that we have different orientations but I still care for you, respect you, and love you as another human being. That was a great moment.”